Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

The African Union (AU) has launched a joint business plan that will be used by member states to implement the CAADP-Malabo declarations. The plan that runs from 2017 to 2021 will support operations at a country level that will support agriculture transformation. The plan was launched on Wednesday at the official opening of the 13th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) meeting taking place in Kampala. Launching the plan, the commissioner Rural Economy at the African Union, Josefa Leonal Correia Sacko said using the plan, they will negotiate with development partners to mobilise financial support to member countries.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the creation of two trading hubs in West and East Africa to increase trade between his country and the continent. They form part of the partnerships he offered at the 51st ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State in Liberia’s capital Monrovia on Sunday. “I believe in strengthening our relations which is one of our top priorities, national and international priorities of the state of Israel … Israel is opening two new trade missions – one in West Africa, one in East Africa – to significantly increase trade between our countries,” he told the West African leaders.

West African neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world's top cocoa producers, are to set up a joint industry body, according to a document to be signed by the heads of their marketing boards on Friday. The Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire Sustainable Cocoa Initiative will, among other things, aim to set farmer prices that will discourage cross-border smuggling and enhance collaboration between the two countries' cocoa marketing departments.Between them the two countries grow around 60 percent the world's cocoa -- about 2.5 million tonnes a year --- but differing policies between the two countries have often led their farmgate cocoa prices to diverge, encouraging smuggling.

Monday, 05 June 2017

South African exporters, wary of the implications of citrus black spot interceptions on the entire South African citrus campaign in Europe, are playing it safe and sending their lemons to Russia, the Middle East and Asia, with a drop of 20% in the amount of lemons destined for the EU compared to 2016. “Due to technical barriers to trade the EU has received far fewer lemons (12%) than 2016 (32%),” says Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association. By contrast, the proportion of lemons going to Russia has increased by 11% (17% of the volumes already shipped), to Asia it has increased by 6% (19% of the whole) while the Middle East is currently taking a chunky 47% of shipped lemon volumes, up by 4%. “The Middle East is a very important market for the South African citrus industry, especially early in the season.”

Thursday, 01 June 2017

More nutritious versions of staple crops could increase daily vitamin and mineral intake for millions of people with poor diets, helping to overcome undernourishment that can cause blindness, brittle bones, feeble muscles and brain damage. Millions of people around the world hardly have enough food to survive. Many millions more may have enough to stave off hunger, but their diets lack micronutrients – vitamins and essential minerals. That can make them vulnerable to infections, weak bones or muscles, and problems with vision or mental health.

Weeks after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order #84 for the regulation of Liberia's fishing industry, the European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the order. In a letter to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the EU expressed concern over the implications of Executive Order number 84. It further said it was surprised to learn about the order through the media considering the longstanding cooperation existing between Liberia and the Union which culminated in the signing of the EU- Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in December 2015. Through its Ambassador to LiberiaMadam TiinaIntelmann, the EU said based onexperience in other countries, it believes that some of the measuresintroduced under Section 2 of the EO will not lead to sustainable investments.

The Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries has called for action on farm trade issues for the WTO’s upcoming ministerial conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this December, tabling an informal paper that notes “overwhelming” support for an outcome on agricultural domestic support. The new paper is the first joint statement of the Cairns Group’s stance after separate papers were tabled by sub-sets of its members last year. The coalition includes nearly 20 countries from both the developed and developing world, including different world regions. The group’s paper calls for action on three areas addressed under current WTO rules on agricultural trade: domestic support, market access, and export competition.

While the outbreak of Avian Flu in Europe may offer some relief to South Africa’s poultry industry over the next few months, brooding over the possible outcomes of the current crisis continues – especially when it comes to the impact of European Union (EU) imports and chicken dumping on the industry. Calls for increased import tariffs, safeguard duties and a more protectionist stance have been both lauded by industry stalwarts and criticised by advocates of liberalised trade policy. While often-emotive calls for protectionism have been rejected by staunch proponents of free trade, citing increases in consumer prices and a breakdown of trade relationships as major concerns, fair-trade supporters have highlighted the importance of some form of protection to ensure the sustainability of South Africa’s developing and emerging economy. Both sides have convincing arguments.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) met in Addis Ababa on May 10, 2017 and agreed on a roadmap for the implementation of the partnership agreement signed between the two entities in January 2017. During the meeting, which was held under the theme, "Achieving agricultural transformation in Africa," participants identified and agreed on four key programme areas including, enhancing rural entrepreneurship and employment for youth and women; addressing natural resource degradation and scarcity, conflicts and migration; ending hunger, nutrition and poverty in Africa; and effective response to climate change.

A fresh approach toward utilisation of Cassava and Sorghum flour in bread production has been estimated to save Nigeria as much as $3.5billion every year. The initiative aims at achieving 20 per cent Cassava flour inclusion in bread and it is projected that if the objective is achieved more Cassava growers would empowered as the project would scale up domestic Cassava flour processing to the tune of about 1.2 million metric tons yearly. Also, the project will create 3 million jobs for Nigerians. Nigeria spends about $6 billion annually to import wheat, according to the director, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Umar-Abubakar.